Thursday, August 27, 2009

Menya Noodle Bar - Sydney City

Level ground, Shop 2
1 Market street
Sydney NSW 2000
ph: 02 9267 4649

Richard found this place on google (why google, there are so many foodblogs out there!! hehe)

& found this ramen place in the city, because i wanted to try some vegetarian ramen.

We were quite disappointed to find out, that their vegetarian ramen was made with beef stock :o

So, we were too hungry to walk around, so we had the organic soba udon noodles $11.50, and the udon noodles $10.90
Yasai Lover's Vegetarian.

They both looked pretty much exact, but served with different noodles. I wasn't impressed, maybe still sad that i didnt get to try any ramen (i've never had ramen before).

The broth was nice, but i think they put too much vegies (well yeah der, it's the vego option). The serving size however, was quite big, so great value for money.

before sprinkles

after sprinkles :)

The place was full of business men & women, i guess having a quick dinner before heading home. It was around 8pm when we sat down. What i didnt like about the place was that we had to order at the front, then take a seat. It was all very food court-ish to me!

Can anyone recommend a vego ramen place for me ?

Mushroom & Leek Pot Pies

I first made these pies for Richard on his birthday in July, knowing Richard loves his mushrooms, and i've never made a pie before, i decided to give it a go. I actually bookmarked quite a few dishes from this book, & me being so indecisive, it took me a couple days to finally make up my mind hehe.

These pot pies are vegetarian, full of flavour (without too many additions of flavours), and are quite filling as well. It doesn;t have many ingredients, and is so simple to make! All i needed was four ramekins, which i got at Woolworths at about $2 each.

Ingredients (serves 4)
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 leek, sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 kg large field mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
300ml pouring cream
1 sheet ready rolled puff pastry, thawed
1 egg yolk, beaten, to glaze

For the leek, this was my first time using i actually, and found this video online on how to prepare it. link here .

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees

2. heat 1 tablespoon oil in a frying pan over medium heat. cook the leek & garlic until the leek is translucent & soft (about 5 minutes). transfer to a large saucepan.

3. heat remaining oil in frying pan over high heat & cook the mushrooms in 2 batches, stirring frequently. for 5-7 minutes per batch, or until mushrooms have released their juices and are soft & slightly colored. Transfer to the saucepan, then add thyme.

4. place saucepan over high heat & stir in the cream. Cook, stirring occasionally for 78 minutes, or until the cream has reduced to a thick sauce/gravy.

5. remove from heat, and season well with salt & pepper.

6. Divide the filling among four 315ml (1.1/4 cu) ramekins or oven proof bowls.

7. cut pastry into round slightly bigger than each dish.

8. brush rims of ramekins with a little of the egg yolk, place pastry on top & press down to seal. brush the top with remaining yolk.

9. place ramekins onto a metal tray. bake for 20-25 minutes, or until pastry has risen and is golden brown.

make sure you brush the rims with egg yolk, & press down! (not too hard though, you'll break the pastry)
if you don't do this, the mixture will boil & bubble out and drip down your ramekins (not very neat looking!)

the result: crispy pastry top, with an awesome mushroom filling & delicious gravy as well. bon a petite!

Dulce De Leche Brownies

After seeing a post long ago here, then recently here, i decided to bake my first batch of brownie with this recipe here (which actually came from here).

Dulce de leche in Spanish or Dolce de leite in Portugese is a milk based sauce made from either boiling a can of consdensed milk in a pot of water, or baking in the oven (this takes longer though).

I boiled my two cans in a pot of water for about 3 hours (about half way i totally forgot about them, and they almost boiled dry (and if they do, expect an explosion me thinks!). So just make sure you check it every half an hour, & top up with more water (cans need to be completely emerged in water).

I made these on a Friday night (i was watching the footy & making name placement cards, hence getting side tracked hehe) and i planned to make some brownies & cupcakes over that weekend, but just didn't have the time to. Ended up making my brownies on a Wednesday afternoon to bring to a mini foodie meet up! Everyone liked them, & i'm hugely proud of myself, but i've still yet to taste the *perfect* brownie, so i really can't compare mine to any besides the crappy dry one i bought from starbucks a while ago.

So here we go..

115 g salted or unsalted butter
200 g of any dark chocolate (i used cadbury's dark cooking chocolate)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3 eggs
1 cup caster sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
1 cup sifted self raising flour (i think i was meant to use normal flour here)
1 can dulce de leche

Line your 20cm cake pan with foil & lightly spray with some cooking oil.

Melt butter in a bowl over simmering water, then add roughly chopped chocolate, stir until melted, remove from the heat.

Whisk in one at a time the cocoa powder & eggs (one by one)

Stir in the sugar, vanilla then flour

Pour half the batter into your pan, place big spoon fulls of your dulce de leche into the batter (i did it 3 by 3)

Pour the rest of the batter over the top, then spoon the rest of your dulce de leche over the top.

Bake for about 40-45 minutes. I checked mine at about 34 minutes, and my chopstick came out still wet, so another 10 minutes did it for me.

Leave them to cool completely.

I actually couldn't wait so i tried them while they were half way cooling, and the dulce de leche was pretty hot haha!

I found mine cakey (probably cos they were still warm) but i had some the next day and they weren't bad!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate fudge icing

I found this recipe when i was looking for some cupcakes (Jenny was kind enough to share the recipe with me!) that i could make for Richard, since he was on a no wheat diet. I had my doubts about a flourless cupcake, all i've ever known was to use flour in my baking!

They turned out devilishly sweet & surprisingly sooo moist. The first time round i served them as is, but the 2nd time round i topped them with some chocolate fudge icing & topped with a *random* m&m ;)

They were really scrumptious, almost like mini mudcakes!

150g dark chocolate, chopped
125g soft butter
3 eggs, separated
90g caster sugar
90g ground almonds
2 tbsp caster sugar, additional

Preheat oven to 170 degrees.

Place chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pot of simmering water to melt. Remove from heat and add egg yolks, sugar and ground almonds. 

Whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form, then fold in additional sugar. 

Fold egg mixture into chocolate mixture. *note* FOLD the eggs white in, otherwise all the air bubbles will collapse and your cakes won't rise!

Spoon into greased cupcake trays and bake in preheated oven for 13-15 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when tested.

These make perfectly 24 babycakes!

let them cool completely before topping them with this icing, & placing m&m's on top ;)

Chocolate fudge frosting
4 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
100 g softened butter
1/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

sift icing sugar & cocoa into a bowl.

In a separate bowl cream the butter for 1-2 minutes. add the milk, extract & half icing sugar mix, beat for at least 3 minutes (or until light & fluffy).

Add remaining icing sugar and beat for a further 2-3 minutes. 

Add extra milk if its too dry, or more icing sugar if its too wet.

Bau Truong

You'd think i'd have reviewed many Viet restaurants before this, but this one is actually my first. Not that i don't eat it often, but i don't remember taking any pictures hehe. Eating out locally usually means something quick & on the go, & me not carrying my camera with me.

This time i made sure i packed it into my gym bag, as i was meeting the lovely Ann for a catch up dinner. She couldn't make it to the gym because she stubbed her toe at work, which didn't stop me from doing a session of the cross trainer before picking her up.

You can always expect a cheap meal in Canley Heights/ Canley Vale, Ann chose this place for us tonight. I've been here a few times before, back in my meat eating/pesketarian days.

This restaurant is always busy, they have one in Cabramatta as well, they cover quite alot of the Vietnamese dishes, & not so many vego options, but i managed to find a fried rice & asked for it to be made with no meat.

Tasty pineapple fried rice

This was indeed tasty, and a huge serving. I only managed to eat half of it, & take awayed the rest for breakfast the next day. (Yup, i can pretty much eat anything for breakfast, sweet/savory).

Beef in wild pepper leaf rolls

Ann's serving was pretty big as well, but she finished it off with no problems.

We also had drinks. Me, the coconut drink, Ann had the avocado & durian shake. WHich was pretty thick and sweet, no traces of ice at all, really lovely (i would know because i was constantly sipping some too hehe).

Unlike many other restaurants in the area, you can actually see into the kitchen here, and it's very clean, something that you'd like to know when you're eating out.

Seeda Thai

121 Enmore Road
Enmore NSW 2042
ph: 02 9557 2345

Ants & I were seeing Phoenix @ Enmore on a Wednesday night, so we were on the hunt for some cheap food. I was still having my thai cravings (it's been over two months, whats wrong with me!!)

There were a few restaurants to choose from, but decided on this one because it was small, quiet, & the menu didn't look too pricy.

Vegetarian curry puffs $5.50

These were pretty nice. Filling was decent, buttery pastry, & it came with a yummy sweet & sour dipping sauce.

Seafood Pad thai $13.90

Ants had this, but it was too much for her i think she only finished about three quarters of it. She's not a fan of beansprout so a lot of it was pushed to the side hehe.

Vegie & tofu Pad Thai $9.50

We both had pad thai. I actually... rarely order anything but Pad Thai. I'm boring, i know ;)

Servings were kind of small, about half the size of a pad thai that you can get at Canley Heights! & costing about $1 more. That's what you get for eating in the city i suppose ehehe. Noodles were coated in a fair amount of sauce, with a decent amount of vegies.

Sticky rice with thai custard $4.50

I wasn't full, so ordered some dessert. I think i ate most of it, Ants didn't like it very much. I'd had better deserts, this had come from the microwave it was pretty hot when i had some. A bit more coconut milk would've made this alot nicer, it was quite dry!

It was a cheap & filling meal. About half way through eating, more people came in for dinner, so it wasn't so nice & quiet anymore. The waitress (she was the only waitress there) was really kind & sweet, very polite, and asked us where we were going once we sat down.

There were only a few tables in the shop, i'd say it can only seat about 15 or so people, i think more people come for the take-away.

I was still craving more thai food after this, when will this end?? I think i've eaten thai atleast 10 times in the last 3 mths..


15 Goulbourn Street
Haymarket, Sydney 2000
Ph: 02 9211 1668

I've been hearing a lot about some Malaysian restaurant 'Mamak' through fellow food bloggers, and decided to come and see what all the ranting was all about. So i hear the roti's are to die for, & that they serve things with 'condensed milk', and that you can't book, & that there is usually a long line of people waiting to get seated.

I have a 'thing' about waiting in line for things, anything at all may it be food or fashion or ticket booths. But, the way the people have been talking about how great this place is, i put all that aside, and embraced 'lining up for some good food'.

I was hoping that the line wouldn't be too long (it was about 7pm when me & Richard got there), there were about 10 people in front of us? But i didn't mind waiting as we had some entertainment! Richard got this shot of one of the talented chefs working his magic on their roti's.

It's quite hypnotizing actually, watching him & the other guy rolling, twisting, throwing & spinning the roti dough.. I found myself staring with my mouth open, and having Richard nudge me to move up and fill in the empty spot in front of me.

I think we waited about half an hour before being able to get a seat. Inside the restaurant was very bustly with lots of waiters & waitresses scurrying around taking orders & serving up food.

We ordered some tea, special 'stretched' tea, that came in a pretty big mug :) They were both really sweet, just the way i like my hot drinks.

Teh Tarik classic Malaysian sweetened tea, "stretched" for a frothy topping
Kopi Tarik Malaysian White coffee, both $3.50 each.

The tea was really nice, but VERY VERY strong. Warning to caffeine sensitive peoples (like myself). i drank this at about 8pm, and wasn't able to sleep until 3 or 4am that night :(

Richard & I shared everything, because that's what we love to do hehe.

Maggi Goreng $10.50
a popular mee goreng variation using Maggi noodles

The noodles were spicy, and had vegies, tofu, was very saucy & flavoursome. Doesn't beat home made mi-goreng though :) mm..

Roti Telur Bawang $6.50
Egg & onion roti served with 2 curry dips & spicy sambal

The roti - was nothing special. They served everything on a metal plate, so our food went cold really quickly (not because of the time taken to take photo's!)

So because of that, i didn't really enjoy the curry & roti. So onto desert roti's, that i hoped would make up for the cold curries...

Roti Kaya $7.50
Filled with a traditional spread made from pandan & coconut

This was my favourite dish of the night, and made me regret getting savoury roti's at all hehe. Pandan, used to be my favourite spreading on bread when i was younger. I'd spread it on sooo thickly a jar finish off in no time. Served with icecream, i now understood why the foodbloggers love this joint so much.

Roti Pisang $7.50
a popular roti with freshly sliced banana's

This roti Richard liked alot more than my pandan one. The banana in it wasn't too overpowering (im not a huge fan of banana's actually) & even though we were full (and maybe ordering two roti's for desert was too much) we still managed to finish everything.

A few weeks later we came back for some desert only, & ordered the roti that everyone LOVEd so much.

Roti Tisu $9.00
paper thin, extra crispy, & served tall.

I was told to order this with icecream & condensed milk. The roti was soo crunchy, with sugar crystals stuck to the inside of the roti. It was like eating paper actually, i wasn't very satisfied by the end of it. It really felt like i hadn't eaten anything haha..

My verdict on the place? A tiny bit overhyped. Except for the roti kaya, which would be my only reason for coming back!

Monday, August 24, 2009


SHop 1021 (near coles)
Bondi Junction Westfields

After an awesome photoshoot in the morning at south head, we were hungry so we decided to drive down to Bondi Junction for some food in my new Mini Cooper Cabrio.

We got to westfields Bondi junction and after spending a ridiculous amount of time looking for parking, we headed to the food court and found this awesome little thai restaurant as soon as we got into the shopping center (we didn't even make it to the foodcourt hehe). Usually you're supposed to order from the counter and then sit down. The waitress took our order at the table, It was so awesome! I guess they weren't too busy??

I orderd a vegetarian Pad Thai and Betty ordered the Vegetarian green curry with saffron rice. My pad thai was pretty ordinary, I like my pad thai very flavoursome with lots and lots of tamarind flavouring. This one was only just short of he flavour mark.

Pad Thai - stir fried with egg, tofu, beansprouts, & crushed peanut topping

Betty's vegetarian green curry wasn't too spicey, it was just right for betty. In other words slightly peppery for me. The best part of this dish was actually the saffron rice. It was cooked with saffron and also with sultanas. It was slightly sweet and went quite well with the green curry.

Green curry cooked in coconut milk, bamboo sliced, zucchini, pumpkin & basil

Pad tom yum - stir fried hot & sour paste with lemon grass, lime leaves & mushrooms

Pad See Iw - stir fried with egg, green vegetables in sweet soy suace

We didn't sample any so can't really write about it, but it looked as good as ours. I think this would be our new fav place to eat at in Bondi (ever since Macro Cafe died, we don't really go back anymore).

Thanks to Sambath for letting me use his camera (mine died in the morning during the photoshoot!)

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Edensor Park Shopping Centre
Shop 1, 215 Edensor Park Road
Edensor Park NSW 2176

This restaurant changed owners (it used to be il Posto), and it's pretty much around the corner from my house (a 5 minute walk only).

I've always passed this place while running, but never though to go in.. I don't usually eat out at Italian places, and if i do, it's only through recommendations.

When a really good friend of mine (ANITAaaaaH!) mentioned that she's starting up a foodblog i was very excited, and suggested coming here to do our first review together. It's close by, and being a weeknight we wouldn't be staying out too late.

This place had signs up for 'Tuesday Specials' which is for just $19.95 you get a choice of garlic or herb bread, a main sized salad (to share between two) & either ribs, pasta, or pizza.

Garlic Bread

Herb Bread

Greek Salad

The salad was pretty nice, but didn't have enough fetta i think :) I really like my salty foods, so for a normal person it would have probably been enough hehe. The salad was nice & fresh, and the dressing wasn't at all heavy.

Carbonara with gnocchi

Ants said her gnocchi wasn't bad at all. I had some gnocchi the other day (a restaurant we take awayed from, i have a thing about taking photo's of take away food, i dont think its pretty at all). And yeah, it was pretty sickening after about 6 or 7 pieces of gnocchi i just couldnt eat anymore. But this was after i finished one and a half pieces of arancini, so maybe i was just full hehe. This gnocchi looked pretty light & tastey.

Primavera with spinach & ricotta raviolli

There wasn't much selection for a vegetarian, & i didn't want to gorge on pizza.. so i went with the primavera & spinach & ricotta ravioli. The ravioli was quite dry, but the pieces were pretty decent.

We only managed to eat half of plates, & we both just doggy bagged the rest. I took the salad home, & finished it off the next day it was really good the day after! hehe.

I'd like to come back here for the pizza, i don't think the pasta's we had said much about the restaurant.

Even though we were about 20 minutes late (our booking was at 8.30), they were really nice to us, the staff were quite friendly actually. & the owner also came out a few times to see how our meals were going. The meal includes either gelato or coffee at the end but we were pretty full, and it was getting late, so owe skipped it. We were the last ones there actually, so i felt obliged to hurry outta there because they had already started sweeping the floors & stuff (quite rude to do that though don't you think??)

Also! While we were taking photo's the owner casually walked past & said something like 'the food will get cold by the time you start eating it, the food must be eaten hot, not cold!' & it really sounded like he meant it, but was trying to sound like he was joking.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Chai Chocolate Cupcakes

i ADORE Chai tea's & Latte's, so when @JunkandPo on twitter posted about these, i ust had to jot it down in my baking book. She pretty much used a basic vanilla cupcake mix, & added a couple teaspoons of chai tea.

My first round, didn't turn out very 'chai-ey', & that was using 4 teaspoons.

Second time round, i tripled the dosage of chai (12 heaped teaspoons) & also added a few shakes of cinnamon powder, and a slight sprinkle of nutmeg. Now these turned out PERFECT! Loved them.

Chai cupcake batter

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar
1.5 cups self raising flour
4 eggs
0.5 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla essence
12 heaped tsp of Arcadia's Chai tea powder
5 shakes of cinnamon
1 sprinkle of nutmeg

1. Pre-heat oven to 175'c
2. Place baking cases in muffin tins
3. Place all ingredients into a bowl & beat with electric whisk until smooth & pale, about 2 or 3 minutes
4. Spoon mixture into cases and bake for about 14-16 minutes
5. Remove tray from oven & cool for 5 minutes
6. Remove cupcakes from tray, and cool for another 20 mins

Chocolate buttercream frosting

0.75 cup unsalted butter, softened
0.5 cup milk
1 tbs vanilla extract
8 cups icing sugar
0.5 cup cocoa powder

1. Cream the butter for 2-3 minutes, until pale & smooth
2. Add milk, vanilla extract, & haf the icing sugar & beat for another 2-3 miutes
3. add the cocoa powder, and remaining icing sugar, beat for a further 2 minutes until light & fluffy & of spreadable consistency

Add milk if it's too dry, or extra icing sugar if it is too wet.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Eveleigh Markets

243 Wilson St.
Darlington NSW
(adjacent Carriageworks)

I've been meaning to come here for about, 6 or 7 months now. But because it falls on a Saturday morning, i'm either bike riding, gymming, or i have *something* on.

Finally though, i diarized it into the second Saturday of August, & Richard & Ann came along too :)

We arrived just before 9am, & there was plenty of free parking out on the street (score! no parking fee!)

The markets run down either side of the warehouse, and on the side there is a strip where you can sit in the sun & enjoy the food that you buy.

The first store we came across had free taste testing for feta cheese, apple juice, & yogurt, i love freebies hehe. Reminds me of the Good Food & Wine show.

i LOVE freshly squeezed/organic apple juice. It's sooo much tastier than the normal juices you get from the supermarket, in bottles & poppers.

All the foods on display looked really fresh, home-grown, & the people behind the counter are so so friendly & helpful.

We were starving for some breakkie, so got some chai tea's to curb our hunger while we kept searching for breakfast. They used 'Arcadia's" chai tea powder (my fav) but i think they used half as much powder as i do, it was quite light & watery... but we got free biscuits!

Main reason for visiting these markets was to see Suze, but her mom was around instead so we left a note hehe. Ann & Richard both bought some shortbread & biscotti (she was kind enough to let us taste test the range before deciding).

We had walked past a few places selling breakkie burgers, and pies & things, but we wanted to see what else was available before deciding on what to eat for breakfast. We got to the end, and saw breakfast crepes!

I haven't seen anything like this at a market before, & they were nice to let us take photos hehe.

I chose the mushroom, cheese, spinach, caramelized onions, Richard got the spinach & feta cheese, and Ann got 'the lot'. Everything plus ham.

They were quite nice, but not very filling, so we went back to see the stall next door, who were selling 'murtabak', which is a popular snack in Indonesia. They had 'vegetarian' ones so i ordered one of them (there wasn't much vego lunch options around actually so i was quite happy).

So inside there were mixed vegies (which were grated up thickly) with seasoning & egg, which was then packed into spring roll sheets, & then pan fried, & then fried in shallow oil.

She didn't mind at all when i asked if i could take some photo's, & was actually happy that we were, & asked if we could send her some for the market magazine!

Richard and I snapped up a few photo's (i didn't have my macro lens but wish that i did!), & she rewarded us with two more free murtabak's! So sweet of her!

They very much reminded me of spring rolls, except bigger & chunkier. I liked them alot :)

After eating & lazing around in the sun for a bit, we made our way back to the start, this time looking more closely at what each stands had to offer.

I bought a huge loaf of sourdough bread for $5.50, and also stayed for a chat with the bread dude, who was telling us about storage, how long they keep for, all the different breads he had on offer. I couldn't wait to go home & slice up & toast these babies up hehe.

I bought one of these adorable raspberry tarts for later, me & Ann to share ( we were so stuffed from the crepes & murtabak).

Last stop was an ice cream sandwich stall, where i was straight away approached by a guy asking 'are you a blogger?' haha (is the huge camera around my neck too obvious??)

We tried some of the 'caramel pecan', & it was delicious! It was a pity we were so full, and also was staying out for another couple of hours, as they did have frozen take away packages that would keep your ice cream sandwich cold for about 1.5 hrs.

They have a wide variety, and i'm defo coming back for more!!

Next time, i'm going to have one murtabak, and one ice cream sandwich, and im bringing more friends along! These markets are a gem i had fun taste testing & seeing fresh produce on display, we tasted organic strawberries (divinE!) & met a few pretty cool people.

Move over Flemington markets, i will never go there again!